Monday, December 6, 2010

Disappearer - The Clearing

As 2010 draws to a close, many folks are compiling their "Best of the Year" lists. Since I still have a few records I feel could place in my top ten, still unlistened too, I am not ready to make that post yet. Instead I thought I would go back and talk about my favorite release from last year. One that, a year later, I still feel hasn't gotten the recognition it should have.

I don't remember how exactly I first heard Disappearer but I am eternally grateful I did not miss the boat on this incredibly powerful release. Since this record arrived in the mail it has been in constant rotation. More than a full year later this record still gets listened to a few times a week, and in my opinion is one of the greatest records to come out in the last ten years. I might seem like I am overselling it, but believe me when I say this, this record makes me wish I could afford to buy every copy and give it away to every person that I thought should hear it. I don't have to be a thousandaire to make that happen because the full album is already available for free download online and you don't have to feel like a dirt ball when you take it for yourself. You can head over to Gimme Sound and pick it up there and every download nets the band, label and a charity some cash.

Magic Bullet put out The Clearing on 2xlp format. I have long supported Brent and MBR although there is still a large chunk of his releases I still have not heard. I've never met the man but I'd like to think that he and I could share some good music conversation over a drink or two. This label has put out a number of releases I hold near and dear and this one tops the list.

The Clearing is the first full length record from this band but not their first release. I have found 2 different compact discs floating around. The first I picked up contained 2 songs and it looks like it was their demo. The second cd I actually found in an online distro and I thought it was going to be another copy of the demo cd, that I planned on giving away to a friend. When I got it though I was pleased to find out that it contained the 2 songs from the demo and one additional song. That cd was released by Trash Art records and looks like it is still available for sale, although the website hasn't been updated in about a year so you might want to drop an email before placing an order. I highly recommend picking the cdep up for the $7. All 3 songs are wonderful instrumental powerhouses. Here is to hoping that someday these songs get a vinyl release.

Back to the record at hand! The Clearing is 10 songs spread over 2 lp's and clocks in around 50 minutes or so. After all the hundreds of listens this record has gotten, it is still hard for me to simplify it to a few words. It's loud and powerful, it's hypnotic, it's crushing, it's cold. It's that first gust of fall air that cuts you to the bone and the harsh reality of the brutal winter ahead. Even with heaviness through out there is enough melody in these songs to keep the entire ride interesting. Equal parts Sludge and Post Rock, it ties together seamlessly in an amazingly produced record (Kurt Ballou) While all these songs are good enough to stand on their own, this album is really meant to be listened to, without interruption, in it's entirety. Please also make sure to play it as loudly as possible. I've listened to it many times on my laptop but it seems to be an entirely different experience when pounding through my stereo speakers.

Pressing wise there were two different colors. First was a color press of pink/clear(pictured above) that was limited to 150 and sold out pretty quickly. The rest of the press was 350 copies on black/black vinyl which is still available for ordering here. It amazes me that this is still available and I will be ordering myself a black/black copy soon enough. I am not much of a collector of variants but this album warrants another copy in my collection.

Although available for free online I really can't recommend this one enough for your turntable. If for some odd reason you buy this and don't care for it, give it to a friend. It won't be long until that copy lands with someone who will love it for the incredible album it truly is.

As a side note I am looking for a test press of this record, any xxl t shirts/hoodies that might be out there or any other cool merch. I only have the 2 cds and the lp and am striking out as far as everything else goes. If you can help shoot me an email at surfacenoiseblog at gmail dot com

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